After two months of demolition, seats are no longer coming out of Sun Life Stadium. The bright aqua chairs are now going in.
Construction crews last week put in the brackets for the first of some 65,000 seats in the Dolphins’ renovated home stadium — a process that cannot take more than five months.
Work on the stadium’s seating bowl has to be done in time for the Dolphins’ first home preseason game. Dates and opponents for those exhibition games will likely be made public in the coming weeks, but the team is guaranteed to have a home game no later than Aug. 30. The University of Miami will open its season at Sun Life the following Saturday.
Dolphins executives have expressed confidence that the first stage of the $400 million overhaul — which will decrease capacity but move seats closer to the field — will be done in time for the season. (The canopy and new video boards will not be installed until 2016.) The team has allowed for delays during hurricane season, which is just a couple of months off.
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As for actually filling those seats with people, that process continues as well. The team is a month into reassigning seats for its season-ticket holders, a seniority-based system that is expected to last another three weeks. Once all the roughly 44,000 2014 ticket holders have had a chance to pick their new location, the Dolphins will open up the process to about 4,000 new customers who have already put down a deposit.
Curiosity over the new building — not to mention a series of headline-generating, on-the-field moves — would presumably put the Dolphins in position to surpass 50,000 season-ticket holders for first time since 2010.